Saturday, 6 December 2014

Partridges in pears trees?

Well its almost Christmas, there is a Cadbury's advent calendar in the house. But my thoughts turned to the old rhyme "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Surely it must be medieval in origin?

Specifically I was keen for MedievalMorsels to offer 12th scale miniature pears by this December, to accompany my dollshouse miniature partridges. Mission accomplished this week!
Bowls of pears, 12th scale dolls house food, by MedievalMorsels

A beautiful British Christmas stamp (1 of 12!) issued in 1977

Roasted partridges one inch dollhouse miniature by MedievalMorsels
 Strictly a ground bird the partridge was never likely to be found in pear trees! This misunderstanding seems to have arisen from mistranslation of the French song. Une perdix is French for a partridge and une perdrix for a pear tree! An easy mistaken association for an English speaker to make in translation.  I have an ambitious plan for next year, which will rely on abundant medieval themed poultry!
The full 1977 Christmas set of British commemorative stamps

Namely scale models for a Medieval or Tudor dolls house. Two turtle doves and three French hens will be required. I think either in their plumage, or toasty and spit roasted!  There is little obvious difference between a pigeon and a turtle dove when its roasted luckily for me. I suspect from research I have done, and the stamp seems to bear this out, that French hens were a short-legged variety. At the minute I just model a standard chicken - but is a fat neutered male - a capon.
Not hens but capons modelled by MedievalMorsels
Two turtle doves or at least common or garden pigeons

Four calling or colley birds - I will certainly need to find out about these. From the stamp they look like a member of the corvid (crows, ravens etc) family but perhaps the smaller blackbird, known for its beautiful song and thus a calling bird?  Six geese present no problem, nor their eggs.
MedievalMorsels takes on roast goose for a Tudor dollshouse 

One inch scale dollshouse miniature food - geese eggs

My biggest challenge will be seven swans swimming atop medieval pies. There are some stupendous models out there. I may have to make a medieval swan-shaped biscuits instead. Lets see how my modelling progresses in 2015!

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